Re: Day 49 Theory
Here in Calif you cannot send a puppy out until that puppy is 8 weeks old, NOT 49 days. Also, I think anyone trying to force any sentient living being into a straight jacket of exactly so many days to do anything will eventually come a cropper with it. All dogs are a little bit different, even dogs of the same breed, in fact, even puppies in the same litter will develop on schedules all their own. 49 days might work for 'most' of the puppies, but be absolutely wrong for some.
According to information given by Stanley Coren in the Thinking Dog, and I believe he was referring to the Pfaffenberger studies, state that they found no 'significant' difference in the success of the puppies who left the kennel at 49 days from those going out as late as 9 weeks. It was after 9 weeks that the puppies began to fall off the highest percentage of successful completion of the training, and even that percentage did not decrease markedly unless the puppies wound up staying in the kennel until 12 weeks. I think it also meaningful to note that these puppies were not in an optimum situation in a home during that period, exposed to mom and dad and kids and training with noises and activity, but in a kennel where they were not being actively socialized while they waited to go to their foster homes. Admittedly, if the choice was between being stuck out in a kennel between 49 days and whenever, and being in a home, I would say it would be better to be in the home. A lot depends on the breeder, how they keep the puppies and what kind of socialization they are able to provide. At any rate, it is generally wise to consider any method or theory based on absolutes with some care. khawk